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Arabic seal (tenth/eleventh century)

 
 

Obverse

Arabic inscription in one line. Wreath border.

رعيت[ه] لله

Reverse

Arabic inscription in one line. Wreath border.

والمس[يح] ؟

Obverse

Arabic inscription in one line. Wreath border.

رعيت[ه] لله

Reverse

Arabic inscription in one line. Wreath border.

والمس[يح] ؟

Accession number BZS.1951.31.5.3740
Diameter 23.0 mm

Translation

رعيته لله. والمس[يح] ؟

Parish/Flock of God. And the messiah (?)

Commentary

This is a strange seal; it seems more like a token. Even though there is a channel, the seal does not seem to record a name, but some sort of Arabic religious formula. The word رعية can have both a Christian ("parish") and Islamic meaning ("flock" for God or God's allotment to humans). Additionally, the seal is overstruck, rendering the sides worn, and making it likely that some letters are cut off.